Who was Phillis Wheatley?
The Phillis Wheatley statue is my favorite in Boston. I am in awe of her graceful pose and pensive expression. ⠀
Phillis Wheatley was the first African-American female published poet. She wrote her first poem when she was 13 years old. At 14, her work appeared in newspapers and periodicals in the U.S. and England. Many people doubted a young black woman could have such extraordinary natural talent. In 1772, Phillis had to defend ownership of her poems in court. Judgment was ultimately ruled in her favor after careful examination by influential thinkers and politicians.⠀
In 1775, Phillis sent one of her poems to none other than…George Washington! In March 1776, Phillis was invited to meet the General at his headquarters in Cambridge, MA. Phillis received international recognition and made significant contributions to African-American literature.⠀
The Phillis Wheatley statue is one of three works of art by Meredith Bergmann at the Boston Women’s Memorial along Comm. Ave Mall in the Back Bay neighborhood.
The other two statues are of Abigail Adams and Lucy Stone, both of whom were important writers as well.